Dear friends in Christ:
This weekend we celebrate the wonderful Feast of Corpus Christi (The Body of Christ). The history of this feast is quite remarkable. This great feast is due to the great love of Jesus by two women by names of Juliana and Eve. They lived in the early 1200’s in Liege, Belgium. Juliana had been an orphan, but was educated by the Augustinian nuns of Mount Cornillon. From her early childhood, Juliana had a strong devotion to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Eventually, Juliana entered the convent and would become the Mother Superior. Throughout her life, Juliana shared with her sisters and all others her love and devotion for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. She encouraged her local bishop, priests and theologians to promote devotion and a special feast in honor of the Holy Eucharist. After she died, a friend of Juliana’s, who shared her love for Jesus, by the name of Eve, took up the cause of promoting devotion to Jesus in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. At this time, a priest who had served in Liege and had known Juliana and her great love for the Eucharist was elected to the papacy, Pope Urban IV. Eve encouraged the Bishop of Liege to appeal to Pope Urban to make this local feast and devotion one for the whole Church. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Through the centuries this wonderful feast has touched and inspired countless Catholics. In many places, outside processions are held where Jesus in the Holy Eucharist is literally taken to the streets. This is a truly wonderful experience. I hope that one day, we may be able to hold a Corpus Christi Procession here at SJV. One of the greatest blessings of our parish is Eucharistic Adoration. I am continually amazed and impressed to see cars of adorers in the parking lot at all hours of the day and night. It is a wonderful sight to walk into the Adoration Chapel and see people in prayer.
Did you know that you can always come and pray before Jesus, Our Eucharistic Lord, here at SJV? The chapel is open 24/7. Our Lord is waiting for you and is always there for you to open your heart, to give you his love and to lift your burdens.
It is perfectly safe during the night. We have our security making rounds, the parking lot is well lit and the door has a lock (for the security code, just ask the front office ahead of time). I particularly encourage parents to teach their children by word and example how to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament. It is a beautiful and most meaningful gift that will last a lifetime.
A few weeks ago, I made mention that I had requested a Parochial Vicar (Assistant Pastor) for our parish. I am pleased to inform you that in August, we will have another priest serving us here at SJV. Cardinal DiNardo has assigned Fr. Clark Sample to our parish. He was ordained last year in 2016 and has spent the last year completing his studies in Rome. Fr. Clark is a Houstonian who grew up in St. Michael’s Parish in the Galleria area. Needless to say, I am grateful to Cardinal DiNardo for his consideration of our parish, and I look forward to Fr. Clark’s arrival. Also a few weeks ago, I was informed that one of our staff members has been offered a new opportunity. Jeff Falanga, who has served for the last five years as the coordinator of our Jr. High Youth Ministry is returning to Florida to become the Director of Religious Education of a parish in Orlando. This is a great opportunity for Jeff and we are most happy for him and thankful for his service here at SJV. Our team of Daniel Marcantel, Kristin Wegenka, Matt Cranley and Caitlin Arredondo are working to re-shape and refocus our entire Youth Ministry program (Grades 6-12). They have some great new ideas and some exciting new activities and programs for the coming year. Also, if you are a parent of a Jr. High or High School student, your input, support and help are needed to serve this important segment of our parish family. Stay tuned. In the meantime, come to Eucharistic Adoration and give your love to Jesus, pray for Fr. Clark and Jeff Falanga in their new positions, our youth ministry team, our teens, and our whole parish!
In Pace Christi,
Fr. Troy Gately